steering brace

L

lelms1950

Guest
I have checked my steering box. There seems to be a very slight
movement, but it looks totally safe; like it is not about to go
anywhere. If someone comes up with a photo of the bracket, a car
with the bracket installed, or a diagram of how it goes on, could you
please forward a copy to me? Thanks
Mark Lellman lelms@aol.com or ifloat@amphicar.net
 
B

B Crombie

Guest
Mark & John,
Check out Dave the Wave's web site. www.midwestamphicar.com He has a couple
photos of one installed.
Click on the photo of the red trunk compartment on his home page. Scroll
down until you see two more simular photos side by side and you'll see what
appears to be Dave's version of a steering brace. My guess is Dave made this
one himself and I'll bet that steering box doesn't move at all!

Brian Crombie
Faribault, Mn.


----- Original Message -----
From: "lelms1950" <lelms@aol.com>

If someone comes up with a photo of the bracket, a car
> with the bracket installed, or a diagram of how it goes on, could you
> please forward a copy to me? Thanks
> Mark Lellman
 
R

Robert

Guest
Al's idea on the steering brace was excellent. He mentioned that a different
design for the bracket might be better. I just assumed that the brace from
the German club was the only way to go, but a way to avoid the welding is
now my goal. I met with my machinist and we made good progress. Now if I can
get him to build a prototype, and ultimately we can produce them. It will
save everyone the cost of welding and painting and paint touch-up. I hope
that we can make them for the same cost as the original brace. That would be
great as I already have 7 checks from members that want to fix this defect.
I had not welded my original brace, so I could show the steering box
movement. He is a long-time gear head and his reaction was "I don't believe
it. This is bad!".

Rob Vondracek
'64 Red
Valparaiso, IN


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
J

John Friese

Guest
I have always been bothered by these brace solutions that weld to a
piece of sheet metal. Not only is it a lot of mess but I would rather
brace to something more substantial than sheet metal. One of my
Amphi's is a very late model without a jack mounting pocket and the
fuel shut off is set back from the leading edge. At least that car
could easily be set up with a simple brace from the face plate of the
steering box across to the box frame member on the right side. This
brace could be made from a piece of round steel or aluminum tubing,
flattened on the ends and drilled for the attaching screws. I'll
check my earlier car to see if it would also work on that one.

John Friese


--- In amphicar-lovers@y..., "Robert" <rjv@d...> wrote:
> Al's idea on the steering brace was excellent. He mentioned that a
different
> design for the bracket might be better. I just assumed that the
brace from
> the German club was the only way to go, but a way to avoid the
welding is
> now my goal. I met with my machinist and we made good progress. Now
if I can
> get him to build a prototype, and ultimately we can produce them. It
will
> save everyone the cost of welding and painting and paint touch-up. I
hope
> that we can make them for the same cost as the original brace. That
would be
> great as I already have 7 checks from members that want to fix this
defect.
> I had not welded my original brace, so I could show the steering box
> movement. He is a long-time gear head and his reaction was "I don't
believe
> it. This is bad!".
>
> Rob Vondracek
> '64 Red
> Valparaiso, IN
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
L

Larry Solheim

Guest
I really like the "weldless" idea, too. Please let me
know how your test parts turn out.

--Larry Solheim

--- Robert <rjv@drakebuilders.com> wrote:
> Al's idea on the steering brace was excellent. He
> mentioned that a different
> design for the bracket might be better. I just
> assumed that the brace from
> the German club was the only way to go, but a way to
> avoid the welding is
> now my goal. I met with my machinist and we made
> good progress. Now if I can
> get him to build a prototype, and ultimately we can
> produce them. It will
> save everyone the cost of welding and painting and
> paint touch-up. I hope
> that we can make them for the same cost as the
> original brace. That would be
> great as I already have 7 checks from members that
> want to fix this defect.
> I had not welded my original brace, so I could show
> the steering box
> movement. He is a long-time gear head and his
> reaction was "I don't believe
> it. This is bad!".
>
> Rob Vondracek
> '64 Red
> Valparaiso, IN
>
>
> [Non-text portions of this message have been
> removed]
>
>


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K

Ken ''KD'' Roy

Guest
I just met with Brad Swager of Stillwater MN,
& he showed me what he did for a steering brace.
It's really simple, & looks pretty effective!
He took a piece of flat 1.25 wide x .25 thick steel
& drilled a 5/16 hole at each end, 12.5" apart, & painted it black.
He then took out 2 bolts in the Amphi.
The upper left bolt on the steering sector,
& the bolt holding the electric gas shut-off on the floor to the left of the
steering sector.
He then positioned this piece onto the steering sector &
onto the tab on the floor, then reinstalled the bolts.
When you look at it, the new piece is at a 45 degree angle starting
at the floor(by the gas shut-off) then going to the top left bolt of the
steering sector, & it looks original.
He said the whole thing cost him $1.

Till later.....
Ken Roy


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R

Robert

Guest
I will post photos of the new brace once the prototype has been installed on
my car. I promise that no one will be disappointed! I am confident that the
German Amphicar club will take note.

Anyone who wants to purchase this model should send their check in for $73
as before ASAP. I have 12 payments and I now suspect that more owners will
be interested. The cost will be the same as before. I know that I will be
happy that my car is safer. And it will be satisfying to know that I have
helped numerous members and the president of the club avoid the possibility
of a disaster that none of us want to talk about.

Safe driving and swimming!

Rob Vondracek
'64 red


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
R

Robert

Guest
I have completed the prototype and have installed on my car. I have sent 4
photos to Mike Israel to post on the Lovers file since I am too computer
illiterate to do it myself.

The new bracket is an ingenious design. I wish that I could take credit for
it, but my neighbor who is a past customer and current Drake homeowner (I
had decided 26 years ago that Drake Builders was better than a name that
included "Vondracek") and a machinist and a machine shop owner and an auto
enthusiast designed it. By the way, he agreed that the box movement was not
correct. The brace should be manufactured in the about 2 weeks and I will
ship them out shortly there after.

Since the new design is more economical than the old one, I will have the
brace and the 2 spacers black anodized, include the 2 bolts and washers and
the plastic wire tie, and include a new drill bit so that you have one that
is sharp and of the correct diameter for the 2 holes that you will have to
drill in the steering box bracket. There is nothing else you will need to
complete the job except for an electric drill. Don't forget to touch up the
raw steel edges with paint before installing the brace to prevent rust

I am very proud of this brace and I am glad to have helped numerous Amphicar
owners.

Robert Vondracek
'64 red



[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
R

Robert

Guest
I believe the 4 photos of the new steering brace prototype (not black
anodized like the final ones will be) have been posted on the club web site
by Marc Schlemmer since Mike Israel is not available to help me. Marc came
up with the great idea of telling the entire membership about the
availability of the new brace. You will all see it in the News Letter which
will be out shortly.

Marc's steering box was the worst one I have seen to date; it moved over
1/8" side to side. In my opinion, it was a ticket for disaster! After
thinking about it, he decided that reinforcement was necessary and decided
not to drive the car again until the job was complete. In the normal
Schlemmer style, it was done quickly!

Hugh mentioned to me that over 1/2 of the cars that he restores have
steering box problems and must be repaired. Does that tell us something? How
many old cars in junk yards do you think have failing steering box mounts?

Marc came up with another good point. He mentioned that a car with a tight
feeling box may be more dangerous that a loose box because the loose box may
have more "give". Also, a loose box will temp the owner to brace it, whereas
the owner of a tight box will think, "There is no problem here; I'd be crazy
to bother with this." Enough gear-heads and engineers have looked at this
situation and have helped me understand that under an unusual road condition
or impact where a significant twisting load occurs combined with the age of
those 2 cast ears, a total failure could easily happen. I know that I don't
want to go there!

The chance of a total brake failure with that single cylinder master is
enough to be worried about. and now that I think about it, during a total
steering failure, the loose steering bow might take out the master cylinder
or brake lines. This could be more fun!

Rob Vondracek
'64 red H20 CAR


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
M

Marc Schlemmer

Guest
Rob mentioned that his Steering Brace is on the Club web page..... Just to
make sure everyone knows right where to go, it is at www.amphicar.com Just
click on the "Classified Ads" link and you will find Rob's brace along with
lot's of other great stuff. Be sure to check it out!
I know it gets mentioned from time to time, but it is worth mentioning
again. If you haven't visited the Club's page in a while, do check it out.
Bill Connelly does all the work on making the Amphicar Club web page one of
the most informative "car club" web pages out there. Thanks, Bill!

Marc Schlemmer.
 
B

Bill Connelly

Guest
Re: RE: Steering Brace

Thanks Marc! But a tip of the hat should also go to "The Cap'n" (aka. John
Bevins) whose elegant data manipulations I can only barely comprehend and
whose HUGE efforts in the online Maintenance Manual can be found the the
Club website's password-accessible Members Only Area (
http://www.amphicar.com/memberslogin.html ).

As for folks interested in those steering box braces, I had guessed that
these would be so popular and important that I added a special "bookmark
style" link to them in the Club Classifieds:
http://www.amphicar.com/ads.htm#brace

~Bilgey~


----- Original Message -----
From: Marc Schlemmer
To: Amphicar Digest
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 5:40 PM
Subject: [amphicar-lovers] RE: Steering Brace


Rob mentioned that his Steering Brace is on the Club web page..... Just to
make sure everyone knows right where to go, it is at www.amphicar.com Just
click on the "Classified Ads" link and you will find Rob's brace along with
lot's of other great stuff. Be sure to check it out!
I know it gets mentioned from time to time, but it is worth mentioning
again. If you haven't visited the Club's page in a while, do check it out.
Bill Connelly does all the work on making the Amphicar Club web page one of
the most informative "car club" web pages out there. Thanks, Bill!

Marc Schlemmer.


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R

Robert

Guest
All of the steering brackets sold to date (18) have all been shipped weeks
ago. I still have 3 left. After those are gone, it may take time until I
have enough orders to justify an economical run. If you want to be ready to
go by next spring, now is time to order.

I haven't heard from anyone wanting to change the date from Saturday, June
21, 2003 for the swim-in I will be hosting, so that is the date. Mark your
calendars!

Rob Vondracek


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
R

Robert

Guest
My machinist raised his price slightly for the smaller order and delivery
time will be about 6 weeks. Hopefully, he gets it done quicker. The new
price is $78 with shipping, $5 less if picked up in Celina. Your check must
be received by Wednesday, June 11 and I'll order the required number then.
Based on that date, I'll have them ready for Celina.

Please e-mail me immediately to let me know that your check is on the way.
Please write out your mailing name and address on a separate sheet of paper
so I can tape it to your package to be sure that there are no mistakes. And
mail to:

Rob Vondracek
1003 Woodcrest Ct.
Valparaiso, IN
46383
 
F

F M

Guest
Gentleman, I became the proud owner of an amphi last week and reading all this
talk about steering boxes has me concerned. What should i be looking for to
determine if my car has a brace or is in need of one

Robert <rjv@drakebuilders.com> wrote:My machinist raised his price slightly for
the smaller order and delivery
time will be about 6 weeks. Hopefully, he gets it done quicker. The new
price is $78 with shipping, $5 less if picked up in Celina. Your check must
be received by Wednesday, June 11 and I'll order the required number then.
Based on that date, I'll have them ready for Celina.

Please e-mail me immediately to let me know that your check is on the way.
Please write out your mailing name and address on a separate sheet of paper
so I can tape it to your package to be sure that there are no mistakes. And
mail to:

Rob Vondracek
1003 Woodcrest Ct.
Valparaiso, IN
46383



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B

Bill Connelly

Guest
Gentleman, I became the proud owner of an amphi last week and reading all
this talk about steering boxes has me concerned. What should i be looking
for to determine if my car has a brace or is in need of one

==========

The answer to the above is that it almost certainly does NOT have a steering
brace unless you put it on, but you can see several shots of Robert's nice
design in the Club Classifieds at http://www.amphicar.com/ads.htm#brace

~Bilgey~
 
A

a_colo_native

Guest
--- In amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com, F M <injuneer2003@y...> wrote:
> Gentleman, I became the proud owner of an amphi last week and
reading all this talk about steering boxes has me concerned. What
should i be looking for to determine if my car has a brace or is in
need of one

FM,

Just so it is clear, open the trunk (front), remove the grey boards
(If equipped), look down on the right side, below the fuel tank you
will see your steering box. That is what you will find pictured in
the classifieds that Bilgy pointed you to.

There are several different designs of these brackets. Rob's works
well. I used 1/8" x 1" strap to make one from the top bolt (the 4
bolts holding the cover) to the bottom bolt, then added 2 more grade
5 bolts to the steering box mounting below. It will need to be bent
in .90" to align with the bracket.

On another note...

I went for a quick swim last night. There was a huge boat cruising
around so I took the opportunity to rinse off the Amphicar
Extraordinaire. ;)
The boat left a nice smooth 3' swell behind it. I (top/windows up)
headed towards it at full steam and perpendicular to it. The 1st
swell was smooth as I went over it, then the nose dives into the
second one. I porposed the nose into the swell about 1/2 way up the
windshield. A lady on a Seadoo said the water was about 12" on the
roof and then broke over the rear window! WOO HOO!

John
 
K

Ken Chambers

Guest
The Amphicar steering box is mounted to a weldment of inadequate design. Far
too much side to side flexing occurs in the mount. This can be observed by
having someone turn the steering wheel and watching the steering box move left
to right. What you see is what also happens on the road while driving - and
probably to a much greater degree due to the various driving forces and
road conditions. Over time this flexing results in cracking of the welds.

A very SIMPLE fix is to install a brace from near the top of the steering box to
a convenient solid mount point on the frame. I used a 1/4 x 3/4 x 18 inch steel
bar, available at most any hardware store. Looking at the front of the steering
box, there are four bolts fastening a flange to the steering box casting.
Remove the top left M8 x 20 bolt. Drill an 8mm (a 5/16" bit
should do) hole in one end of the bar and install the bar using an M8 x 26 bolt.
Angle the bar down and fasten the other end to something solid. There should be
a brace for either the heater box or fuel shut off solenoid.

I measured a 10x improvement in the reduction of side to side movement after
installing the brace. Most importantly was the improvement on the road. No
longer do I experience any steering wheel shimmy, the car tracks better and has
better steering response.

Ken Chambers, CA
'64 Amphi

P.S. Congratulations on your new Amphicar. What's your name and what state do
you reside?

> Gentleman, I became the proud owner of an amphi last week and reading all this
talk about steering boxes has me concerned. What should i be looking for to
determine if my car has a brace or is in need of one
 
R

Robert

Guest
My machinist is going to complete the brackets for me way ahead of schedule.
I'll have them at the swim-in in Valparaiso on June 21. I wait to see if
anyone picks theirs up or buys one. They will be $5 cheaper since there is
no shipping. I'll refund the $5 to anyone who has prepaid. I did order
extras, so there are some available for people who forgot to send their
check on time. For anyone who wants to really roll the dice, I may have them
available in Celina.

Rob "still alive" Vondracek
 
R

Robert

Guest
Perhaps placebo effect but I
think it has also helped improve the feel of the
steering.

Mike,

You are not suffering placebo effect! Lots of Amphicar owners with braced
steering boxes have made the same comment as you.

The Amphicar wanders side-to-side while you are trying to go straight.
Making sure that the air pressure is correct is step one. But I think that
it is important to have the steering wheel perfectly integrated with the
front tires. A large percentage of the wandering is caused by movement of
the front wheels while the steering wheel stays stationary. This is only
possible when lots of play exists in the steering. It is usually caused by
worn ball joints, but in the Amphicar, even when new, there was lots of play
caused by the flexing that exists in the steering box mounts. If someone
were to mount a video camera with the proper light and record the motion of
the steering box while traveling down the road, everyone that saw the video
would do something fast!

Rob Vondracek
 
R

Robert Vondracek

Guest
Rob
I installed my brace, as well as Rich Rosenberg's last weekend. Piece of
cake. Thanks for making this so simple and accurate. If your trailers are
as well engineered, well, they must be great.
thanks
mark lellman
 
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